While Francis Rossi and Rick Parfitt, from Status Quo, were waiting to receive an OBE from the Queen, a military band in the gallery began playing Rocking All Over The World.

Francis said that they had met the Queen a number of times at various events, but when he was presented with his award, for services to music, he truly understood the term Ladies in Waiting.

"Not just the ladies,'' Francis said.

"It seemed we were standing for a week in that circle. We were prepped and then finally sat for the ceremony. Rick and I suddenly recognised our tune. We looked into the gallery and got the thumbs up from the boys in the band.

"When it was my turn with the queen, I simply said it was nice to see her again. She came back with the phrase Dowhat? It was the funny phrase of the time when she and Princess Margaret were young. It made me laugh. I am not a royalist but she does a real gig for this country.''

The lead singer of one of this country's best known rock 'n' roll bands, who had numerous hits over the decades including Paper Plane, Caroline, Down Down, Whatever You Want and Rockin' All Over The World, is coming to Swindon with a totally new theatre show entitled I Talk Too Much.

The show explores the myths behind the man, his background, his music, his rocky relationship with the late Rick Parfitt, and anything that the audience throws at him.

"There will be pointers but I want to keep it mainly ad lib,'' said Francis. "I will have a guitar and pick out bits, explaining why I played this song or the story behind it, but I am not playing the song in its entirety. It will be weird for me, I have no idea how it will go as I have never done anything like it.''

The musician will not be totally alone on stage as he is bringing broadcaster and writer Mick Wall on stage for moral support. Mick co-wrote Francis' autobiography, published this month, and also called I Talk Too Much.

Francis says the only time he had to do a Q and A alone was at a corporate do in Switzerland, in front of a host of business men, and it was too scary.

Along with the show and book Francis is also releasing a collaborative album of the same name. It was a collaboration with vocalist Hannah Rickard.

The musicians met when Hannah worked on Status Quo's Aquostic projects.

"She played fiddle for me. We were talking at the top of the building and she asked me: Do you still write then? I thought that was cheeky so went back down, until I realised she was actually asking if we could write together, so I texted her. We got together and worked here in the music room. I love singing with her.

"I couldn't resist asking my manager what he thought of the music we were making. He loved it and before we knew it we had committed to an album deal. The album has a country flavour because we both like country,'' he said.

Francis first began to play guitar after hearing The Everly Brothers on a TV programme. He and his younger brother made a pact to ask for guitars for Christmas.

"My gob***** of a little brother reneged on the deal saying he wanted a train set,'' said Francis.

Even earlier the singer had become attracted to the various beats that surrounded him growing up in a catholic family, with an Italian dad and Irish mum.

"I remember my mum saying I was skinny with a big head which is what made me fall down stairs. I cried, so they would play All Over Italy to make me feel better, and that shuffle beat stayed with me, and then came the blues influence,'' said Francis, who freely admits that it wasn't the pure love of music that made him choose his career path.

"It was an escape route from the black and white fog of the times and at school being in a band made you more popular with the girls.''

Francis met Rick at Butlins holiday camp in 1965 and they became firm friends which would last, despite their frosty moments of the mid 1980s when they nearly fell out, until Rick's death in 2016.

It was the early 1970s that Status Quo became a household name with hit after hit, world tours and opening Live Aid in 1985.

"When we did Top of the Pops it mean't in those days that we had sold a serious amount of records, and members of my generation thought it was all going to be fab.''

Francis is a huge fan of jigsaw puzzles, and has to be strict about structuring his day from 7.30am when he gets up, swims 40 lengths a day, has two coffees, does his promo work, has a workout at 5pm and then at 6pm he is practising.

"If I don't do that I would sit by a log fire, with Talking Pictures TV in the background and nod off while doing a jig saw or crossword,'' he said.

I Talk Too Much comes to Swindon's Wyvern Theatre on Friday, April 26 at 7.30pm. Tickets are £28.50 from 01793 524481 or visit www.swindontheatres.co.uk - Flicky Harrison